Having spent decades consistently producing some of the market’s finest wired, open-back, over-ear headphones, Grado made a rather late entrance into the wireless headphones market in 2018 with its niche-appeal open-back GW100 on-ears.
Now, the Brooklyn-based brand has gone full 21st century with the introduction of its first pair of true wireless earbuds. They don’t have an innately leaky open-back design – now that would be something to behold – but they do promise to deliver the company’s signature sound.
To that end, Grado has fitted each lightweight (5g) bud with an 8mm driver that has been specifically tuned for their polycarbonate housings, and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility spans aptX and AAC codecs.
The all-important battery life figures are an impressive six hours from the earbuds themselves and an extra 30 from the charging case, which can be charged through the included USB-C cable (it takes two hours) or wirelessly with a Qi-compatible charging mat (not supplied).
The GT220’s spec sheet is completed with a microphone for calls, and on-bud touch functions to control playback controls and activate a connected phone’s Siri or Google Assistant voice assistant.
The Grado GT220s’ price (£249.95, $259) positions them firmly at the premium end of the true wireless earbud market, alongside the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3s, Apple AirPods Pros and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2s. There have new contenders in the form of the just announced Yamaha TW-E7As, too.
They all have the added benefit of noise-cancelling technology, though, so the GT220s really will need to sonically shine above the competition to justify their outlay. And would we be surprised if they did considering Grado’s track record? Not particularly.